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Cinematography: The Creative Use of Reality

Author(s): Maya Deren
Source: Daedalus, Vol. 89, No. 1, The Visual Arts Today (Winter, 1960), pp. 150-167
Published by: The MIT Press on behalf of American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20026556 .
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At the same time. it can produce actuality." Indeed.MAYA DEREN Cinematography: The motion-picture The Creative Use of Reality camera is perhaps the most paradoxical of all machines. only only that they can see. while a comparable of other mechanisms and refinement has usually development resulted in an increased specialization. one which protective partially recalls the advice of an art instructor who said. On this as a mass it level functions elementary ideally for communicating medium ideas. for the time being. perceptible first on the experimental fringes of the film world and now in general evidence at the commer 150 This content downloaded from 14. or can this must be added the fact that the medium deals. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . of its subject aptitude it its that and of matter. what Animated Paintings In recent years. The enormous value of such ac suffices to justify the medium servitude and to be generally as its function. advertising to any simple trigger device. equally elementary The photographic medium of fact. in the scope the advances and sensitivity of lenses and emulsions have made the camera and indiscriminate To capable of infinite receptivity fidelity. push ton.244. try drawing the space around the vase. exist.139. Those concerned with the emergence of this latent form must assume a therefore role. maximum results for virtually minimal effort: it requires of its a modicum of and operator only energy. the definition of the creative to what it is not as to form of film involves as careful attention it is. as a matter not it is that unobtrusive but phous merely virtually transparent. Kodak's "You the but early slogan. and so becomes. deal. more than any other medium. a camera can even and. "If you have trouble drawing the vase. so amor is. it does the rest. in terms of the most elemental In sum. of susceptible servitude to any and all the others. a has been to This obstacle the cepted major definition and development of motion pictures as a creative fine art its own of creative action in its own terms?for form?capable can become manifest is as a latent image which character only if no other image is imposed upon it to obscure it. in that it can be at once active independently and infinitely passive." was not an exaggerated claim. connected take pictures all by itself. audience.210 on Mon.

who were attracted not by its graphic possibilities of the (so limited at that time) but rather by the excitements film medium. its the of time dimen exploitation particularly a square. bring screen and canvas had The similarity between long ago been as Hans Richter. film expression. artists who make use of a by trained and talented graphic fluent knowledge of the rich resources of plastic sophisticated. even A major factor in the emer media.deren: Cinematography The Creative Use of Reality : cial art theaters. collage. use of make enthusiastic and creative photographic reality. along with soon the films of Man and the painters in Richter's who Ray. rectangular they graphic to a canvas. power. laboratory it is now advance tion?a kind of spelling out in time?of the dynamic ordinarily an individual in the of The most composition. The silent film had talent for and were inspired by and development of a new and unique form of the exploration The addition of sound opened the doors for visual expression." Such films. ) indicate later films of (Ernst. potential Richter.139. is "animated paintings. the venerable laws.210 on Mon. L?ger. the verbalists and dramatists. participated a etc." into the film medium This entry of painting presents certain the introduction parallels with attracted to it persons who had of sound.* extending The new graphic-arts school does not so much advance those as reverse them. and which certainly have their place among visual arts. Dali. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . abandoned this approach. Oscar artists such by recognized Fishinger. profound appreciation the distinction between the plastic and the photographic and image.244. one clear when the principle of movement ticularly analyzes for it is usually no more than a sequential articula employed. which combine are not and realistic but designed painted recognizable figures. and crafts which literary over centuries. Duchamp. Armed with the authority. sion?rhythm. All his later films. and others. who had had barely a decade and evolve * the creative It is significant that Hans of his medium. techniques. a pioneer in such a use of film. for here the artists make use of the early efforts as an extension of the film medium This is par plastic media. including enormous the technical and gence of this school has been of what so that in color film and color processing. to artists for these the two-dimen possible approach screen with all the freedom sional. arts had accumulated the writers hardly even to recognize the small resistance of the "indigenous" paused in which to explore film-maker. implicit design are often in term to describe such works. spatial depth created by diminishing the three-dimensional of a illusion created by the revolutions etc. at their service of the skills They put spiral figure. skills. graphic as a means of the film medium. which appropriate teresting and witty. 151 This content downloaded from 14. there has been an accelerated development be called the "graphic arts school of animated might abstract backgrounds with film.

If not. )where experiments in film form can has an extraordinary The motion-picture medium range of common arts It in the fact that has with the expression. And just as and techniques which the development of film form on the the sound film interrupted so a more finished commercial level by providing substitute. music. is dimin confusion which a in of ished by eliminating those portion major potentialities the film is subsequently favor of one or two. structured. plastic on a two-dimensional sur it is a visual composition projected move can in it deal the of with that face. simplicity the "animated painting" film has limited While itself to a on the small area of film potential. is there a image correspond to it in a creative context? ingly different approach Although is the basic building the photographic block of the process as it is a tribute to its self-effacement medium. dance. that it only to language. that it can create a dramatic intensity of can in it the with that events. it has gained acceptance basis of the fact that it does use an art form?the graphic art form?and that it does seem to meet the general condition of as an film: it makes in its statement movement. instead. and it distinguishes in the very act of specifying resemblance and entire is the of visual establishes which category experience 152 This content downloaded from 14. with literature gen can encompass in its sound track the abstractions erally. have the creative courage to face the danger of in the effort to resolve it into by fecundity being overwhelmed and economy. compose rhythms and can be attended time and and of instrument. that it can juxtapose images. should not seek security over the of deliberate mastery poverty. he tidy simplifications should.244. as a form of is already being accepted the "animated painting" film art in the few areas (the distribution of 16 mm.139. This image a is of the of whether opens the entire question photograph same order of as all others. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . arrangement ment. seems to create confusion This very profusion of potentialities a in the minds of most film-makers. film shorts to film series and societies still find an audience. however. with theater. implications available The Closed Circuit of the Photographic Process based on "imitation") means The term "image" (originally in its first sense the visual likeness of a real object or person.is similarly due The rapid success of the "animated painting" to the fact that it comes armed with all the plastic traditions are its impressive heritage. motion-picture no consideration a servant that to its been has virtually given own character and the creative thereof. phrases by song with poetry.210 on Mon. upon which in a An artist.

trasting modifying a to into assimilated become bered. itself. Photography.210 on Mon. that the photographic in is used "animated process paintings. really already accomplished in scientific films. the creative process in the traditional takes where." are to objects which But in so far as the camera is applied a more creative use is this images. this in conceptual art to the manipulations turn is of the instrument. so slow-motion ments or cannot in be slowed down a in be actuality change changed by to a of for the of bird. bear no visible relation to any real object. photographic it is but a step to the conclusion From these observations that its use as a visual printing press or as an extension of another creative form represents a full realization of the potential of the in this manner It is precisely medium. Here reality is first filtered by the selectivity of indi to interests and modified vidual perception by prejudicial as such it is combined with con become similar. and memory) "mental images" of perception or. to reality in conjunction with is applied func the revelatory use a or tions of telescopic lenses and microscopic comparable of the motor? as the of a lens trained upon matter shows Just magnification us a mountainous. its fidelity of the instrument than when. I mean the telescoping 153 This content downloaded from 14. is a process by which an object creates however. in an smooth craggy landscape apparently can reveal the actual structure of move surface. fundamentally. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions of . mate its own image by the action of its fight on fight-sensitive a closed circuit at rial. itself?a photograph it pre But the term "image" also has positive implications: sumes a mental its most in form whether (the passive activity. and subject is a reality in its is a plastic image which what finally emerges a likeness or own is not.244. experience. A painting it is a likeness of a mental of a horse. It thus presents the point precisely art forms.139. tempo performance. concept which may resemble a horse or which may. as in abstract painting. movements it is and the many strains small of which separate changes or whose compounded. image. a creative medium form. a By telescopic which nature either would use of the motor. image right. as the artist.deren: Cinematography The Creative Use of Reality : sense In this specifically negative not a real object or person. Applied flight slow-motion of reveals the hitherto unseen sequence example. of a horse is not the horse in the sense that the photograph is an image. as in the arts. exclusion the This of reality passes through place artist at that point is responsible both for the absolute fidelity of the photographic conviction that process and for the widespread a cannot be. or and remem both forgotten experiences. realized by the art in the creative action of the imagination strument.

the continuous as a wound. When projected of the film reveals the actual integrity. may they as a measure. only then does the aspect and attitudes are brought to it. deals total however. an This distinction role in the important plays extremely address of these respective images. movement of the vine as it grows and turns with the sun. communicate which might. This artist) but is. virtually camera here functions as an the motion-picture Although instrument of discovery it does yield rather than of creativity. sense of gaiety. In creating an image for the the artist primarily under express purpose of communicating. In a photograph. time achieved at ten-minute Reality and Recognition The application of the photographic process to reality results in an image which is unique in several respects. Photography. that purpose then. whose designed configurations even serve to conceal to communicate its meaning. image some real a simulates which precisely then photograph object. a kind of unlike the of "animated which.244. to create most out of the takes the effective aspect possible resources of his medium. at all a matter of fidelity but is of a different is not equivalence is the term for a graphic If realism order altogether. protective our attendant we a and reality. to memory images unrolling 154 This content downloaded from 14. principle ings" ( animation is unique to the motion-picture It may therefore be medium. begin by recognizing knowledges into play. as an even more valid basic element in a creative regarded film form based on the singular properties of the medium. since a specific reality is the prior condition of the existence of a not only testifies to the existence of the photograph photograph. almost the intelligence. conveys different when something altogether a film. The intent of the plastic arts is to make meaning manifest. The abstract in reference become meaningful shadow a scene is not understood at all until revealed and in shape night identified as a person.139. graphic context. As we watch recognized is like a act of recognition in which we are involved strip of of film beneath the the itself.a camera to take pictures of a vine by triggering at regular speed. as a of an that reality (just testifies to the existence drawing its equivalent. to endure. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the bright red shape on a pale ground a in an abstract. must be differentiated from it as a form of reality itself. images paint image itself is a use of the telescoped-time ). Such to chemical has been telescoped-time photography applied to and whose tempo is so slow changes physical metamorphoses as to be imperceptible. to all intents and purposes. the intervals.210 on Mon. For one thing. and in a living reality which is structured primarily are not to serve that purpose.

which our our response in order to and demand perception is the communication they initiate and which their raison d'?tre. the photographic the image confronts an as an one innocent arrogance of exists which fact. however. within the context of theatrical or aspect in their artifice. and the other conventions which of the form.244. can. period of particular pre-eminence enjoyed during the more to This popularity served make fiction-film producers aware of the effectiveness and authority of reality. the interest of a documentary film corresponds Obviously. part Films cannot include this physical presence of the performers. from recognition Photographic Authority and the "Controlled Accident" us with As a reality. We may in presence. the aspect leads us understand photograph. it exercises in to the of authority comparable reality only authority weight have toward and require consummate itself. objective indifferent to our response. The process by which we understand graphic is to almost that by which we then. an abstract. termissions can be transposed into transitions which sustain and even of dramatic development.139.210 on Mon. independent we do not turn view it with an indifference and detachment invite the man-made images of other arts. an keenly awareness which gave rise to the "neo-realist" style of film and to the still growing contributed trend toward location filming. precisely because we are aware that our does not in any way di personal detachment an minish the verity of the photographic image. that the entire school of the social expert in the selection of documentary Although use of camera in and the most effective the reality placement and angle to accentuate and effective the pertinent features of of minimal inter it. the physical presence of the performers pro a sense us to accept the symbols of vides induces reality which of geography. in the second case the to meaning. In the theater. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . replace the artifice of theater by the actu of and place. Such films closely a war. the documentarists operate on a principle in interests the to the of bringing vention. the intermissions the passage which represent are of time. to the interest inherent in its subject matter. the interruptions of in distances. which results understanding is the key to our evaluation of the aspect. opposite. might not have been convincing logic can be clothed in the verity which emanates from the reality They 155 This content downloaded from 14. while intensify the momentum events and episodes which. directly image a In the first case. ality landscape. It is upon this authority film is based. At the same time. authority of reality the support of the moral purpose of the film.deren: Cinematography The Creative Use of Reality : form the invisible underlayer of an implicit double exposure.

spontaneous in itself. The authority of reality is available even to the most artificial as an art of the "con constructs if photography is understood I mean the main trolled accident. to yield an image where be incorporated the reality of a tree confers its truth upon the events we cause to transpire beneath it.streets and of the surrounding landscape.244. a monster in existence if we are not the of believe example. every arrangement a beach scene. cinematographer. The on the other example." accident" By "controlled tenance of a delicate balance between what is there spontan as evidence life of of the independent eously and naturally are activities and the and which persons deliberately actuality.139. the most monumental and extreme of images. The invented event which is then introduced. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions of reality . borrows from the of the scene?from reality reality the natural blowing of the hair. the buildings. in general. though itself an artifice. into the scene. In certain respects. a awareness as to a detached of that merely reality altogether film consists But the metaphor.210 on Mon. introduced upon relying primarily as means the of his would take intent. A painter. the contrary refrain from overcontrolling the aspect if he is to retain the authority of reality. having selected a beach which. the delicate actuality Only manipu photography?by I call controlled lation which accident?can natural phenomena into our own creativity. image?whose intangible reality air and caught on of lights and shadows beamed through the to us as the reflection the surface of a silver screen?comes of At that distance we can accept the reality of another world. We can. the sun. aspect communicating care in the enormous of detail for of. The filming of such a scene so as to create a context of and framed should be planned limits within which that occurs is compatible with anything the intent of the scene. the irregularity of the waves. for theater. or or crowded?must on deserted grim aspect?whether happy. which can even our sense to contribute of reality. and from that can we and comprehend them in their full perspective perceive dimension. from all the are elements which the property of uncontrolled. has the desired hand. the very texture of the stones and sand?in short. room in the asked to believe with us. the very absence in motion pictures of the is so important to the physical presence of the performer. Abstractions Inasmuch and Archetypes as the other art forms are not constituted 156 This content downloaded from 14. The that it is present us intimacy imposed upon reality of other art by the physical works presents us with alternative choices: either to identify or to withdraw with or to deny the experience they propose.

crushed another under carry-over from the pressures theater. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . There employment tion whatsoever for insisting on a repertory variety of roles for actors involved in the totally different circumstances of mo tion pictures. as personages. These appeared around them were like and the films which were structured cosmic truths. Mary Pickford. celebrated monumental which myths medium The invasion of the motion-picture by modern play is actors introduced which of the and realism.210 on Mon. is an absurd redundancy which has served ity of photography.244. significant that. and authority serve of the photographic to and to image primarily modify we the in which however. photography. to of its creative medium the motion-picture merely deprive It is effort of preten dimension.deren: Cinematography The Creative Use of Reality : for reality. Greta Garbo.139. sequence perceive initial identification followed by an interpreta photography?an tion of the aspect to that identification (rather than according in and con irreversible terms)?becomes primarily aspectual a manner in fers meaning to the upon aspect unique photo graphic medium. they create metaphors being or the equivalent itself the reality thereof. realist. concept wrights in the a priori real at the root of theatrical metaphor and which. Photography's Unique Images In all that I have said so far. despite every tious producers. Charles Chaplin. reality. the archetypal new to motion image. of an idea produces is not This concept ment was interrupted into the film medium. pictures. but it would appear that his early intuition archetypal has been ertory subsequently complex. the major stars and the most creative the most figures?both popular as to in the Orson directors (such Welles)?continue operate even was as It earlier archetypal Marlon tradition. the image for ideas and abstractions. archetypal figures: etc. Actually. support. metaphor an in the abstraction is abstraction of the aspect. not as people or personalities. Dietrich. but its develop intrusions traditions of theatrical the by The early history of film is studded with Marlene Theda Bara. of the rep where it func a tioned as the means by which could offer a single company an remunerative audience while providing variety of plays to consistent its is no justifica for members. possible. the fidelity. an to transcend realism and to become Brando demonstrated. Buster Keaton. professional adopting criteria of the established and respected art of theater. as a time micro I have previously referred to slow-motion 157 This content downloaded from 14. directors and film critics who seek to raise their status by and the methods. can use its own reality as a In painting. attitudes. But photography. itself.

It cannot occur in an abstract film. Another unique image which the camera can yield is reverse motion. where a triangle. While by of that image.it has its expressive uses as well as its revelatory ones. uses of this occurs most One of time. is not simply slowness of speed. in fact. When a understood applied to recog nizable person or scene. It is because we are aware of the known pulse it occur at a slower rate of the identified action while we watch the double-exposure of speed that we experience of time which we know as slow-motion. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . but ever closer. case The photographic negative image is still another striking in point. when only in the nightmares experienced comes us move terror to which the while pursues legs refused scope. Both such extreme images and the more familiar kind which as a I referred to earlier make use of the motion-picture medium of the image originates in our recog the meaning form in which its authority nition of a known reality and derives from the in between and direct relationship the reality image photo some intrusion the process permits graphic process. Yet. then the crucifix reassembling the again volley of the the crucifix and fire. peasant again the falling. This is not a direct white-on-black statement but is as an inversion of values. something which can be created reality only in conjunction with the identifiable we see a man in the attitudes When of the photographic image. it conveys a sense of a critically quali tative change.244. cannot go in slow-motion. our of childhood. Reverse motion for obvious reasons. also. as in its use for the landscape on the other side of death in Cocteau's Orpheus. the limits of its tolerance the artist as a modifier as that can be defined the original point at which reality 158 This content downloaded from 14. for instance. or a on a movement mate and loving meditation solemnity into to an action. does not exist in abstract films. it does not convey so much a sense of a backward movement but rather an spatially. but. When used meaningfully. or it can bring which adds ritual weight of otherwise that dramatic image reality anguished helplessness. of the memorable undoing is executed by in Cocteau's Blood of a Poet. may go fast or slow. it can be a state Depending a kind of inti ment of either ideal ease or nagging frustration. It is. filmic resurrection. slow-motion not on the screen.139. shattering. upon the subject and the context. This scene is followed by a reverse motion and of the action?the dead peasant rising from the ground on the wall. of running and identify the activity as a run. one of the knowl is the pulse normal is part of that identification edges which to that activity. where the peasant on the a of fire which also shatters the crucifix volley hanging wall behind him. and exists in our minds. having no necessary pulse.210 on Mon.

their individual is in no way dependent their upon reality can in and to be assembled sequence compose actuality. The the camera provides images with which him are like fragments of a permanent. 159 This content downloaded from 14.deren Cinematography The Creative Use of Reality : : or is irrelevant becomes ( as when a red reflec unrecognizable tion in a pond is used for its shape and color only and without concern for the water or the contextual pond). at once. distorting etc. structured to fulfill earlier. the basic material of the creative action. lenses. in the interests of these qualities of the preserving to he restricts in the himself control the of accident image. not to communicate a specific meaning. the destruction occupies as its This of the photographic image. pointed their various functions. by the knowledges and by the objective authority values which we attach to that reality. and by a manipulated between diese relationship use of the medium. accomplish. used to simulate the creative action of the eye. with superpositions. an antique dealer would appraise age. be only the beginning. tionship images as I are out realities which.210 on Mon.. one in which such a shot might be followed the table falls by its of would constitute apart.139. the image can and should any of several statements. artist its color. and a child its inaccessible But in a film height. by it traditionally forcibly inserting the creative act in the position in the visual arts. us on to levels? several engage unique ability simultaneously of reality. when a table may be. Such well-intentioned efforts to use the medium creatively. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Therefore as several attributes they have simultaneously. old. instead. which flank the artist on either side. we can take a larger view of the total medium and can see that the motion-picture instrument actually consists of two parts. All invention and creation consist of a new rela primarily between known The of film deal in parts. and a as it high. and thus a particular aspect age in the sequence. with all other attri its meaning and function butes becoming The editing of a film creates the irrelevant.244. they In film. Seeing an its separate entity. red. multiple artist. the memory. and almost exclusion stage accepts pre-photographic complete from the photographic Once we abandon process as well? the concept of the image as the end and consummation creative of the process (which it is product in both the visual arts and the theater). incorruptible memory. with image reality. cases In such of as the the camera itself has been conceived etc. is the creative the for block building The Placement of the Creative Act and Time-Space Manipulations Where does the film-maker then undertake his major creative action if. by the direct address of its aspect.

in film. and for this rea son the motion of picture.244. primarily A major portion of the creative action consists of a manipula tion of time and space. The creative action mode. 160 This content downloaded from 14. since the film action is sustained far beyond the normal duration of the real action itself. here which has the effect of freezing a moment of suspended animation the frozen frame becomes to its contextual which. however disrupted. the images are related in terms of common or con Whether in the causal events which is narra trasting qualities. spatial images. then. is though composed a time form. but in this case. A leap extended by the same technique. condensation etc. In a flashback there is no implication that the usual chronological integrity of the action itself is in any way Parallel rushes affected action. the extension of space by time and of time by if extended space. The length of a stairway can be enormously it of the three different shots person ascending (filmed from so that it is not apparent different that the identical angles area is are so edited each time) that together being covered action is continuous and results in an image of enduring the in the air can be labor toward some elevated goal. By this I do not mean only such estab as flashback. to earth. a witness of memory. see the hero who alternately situation becomes and the heroine whose on the is an omnipresence part of the of action. may convey either according as in the turning back of Lot's the sense of critical hesitation ( on stillness and movement a or comment constitute may wife) scenes of as the death. finally.210 on Mon. precise reitera tion. not action These affect the itself but the parallel action. of those spontaneous movements. of a single frame. again. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . distorting transfigures their reality and authority. Time may be extended by the reprinting the figure in mid-action. the effect is one of tension as we wait for the figure to return. takes place in its time dimension. There becomes is. or impoverishing aspect. method of revealing it. or in the logic of ideas and emotions which the structure of a film is sequential. to the rescue increasingly camera by the process. by inter-cutting reprints.139.or new gives particular meaning relationship which sequential a con to to the images according it establishes their function. for example. lished filmic techniques of time. or. not as a creator of it. logic of is the poetic tive. The life and of reprinting of opposition a casual situation involving several persons may be used either in a prophetic context. position. as a d?j?-vu. as when we as critical. diminishing is the characteristic that variety of potential functions which dimension of reality. a their form which them without text. I refer of time and space to which The kind of manipulation itself part of the organic structure of a film.

edward steichen. of Modern Art.210 on Mon. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Collection Museum The Maypole. New York. This content downloaded from 14. 1932.139.244.

244. artist.210 on Mon. This content downloaded from 14. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .139. of the Scene from "L'Atalante" (at dusk).boris Courtesy kaufman.

This content downloaded from 14.139. Scene from "On the Waterfront" the scene).244.210 on Mon. ing through Courtesy of the (smoke artist.boris kaufman. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions drift .

210 on Mon.244.maya deren and Alexander HAMMiD.139. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions of . Scene from "Meshes the Afternoon." Courtesy of the artists. This content downloaded from 14.

then the eye accepts the frame as stable and ascribes to the figure within it. change the quality of the to that of a stylization from one of informality akin to dance. the push and pull of their interrelationships becomes the major dialogue.244.deren: Cinematography The Creative Use of Reality : can scene and exchanges. By manipulation of a relationship between separate times. set hand the another followed entering by being immediately to I the have this used there. it is possible to confer the movement in the for movement the the of a figure scene. In my At his stage. nity of the camera Similarly. The hand-held all movement camera. produces images as three-dimensional as that of birds in air or fish and ity-free in water. nuity dynamic which unifies all separateness. and confronts her with a in which her personal and relentless metamorphosis volatile is sole the constancy. Odyssey for adventure. gesture ting altogether complete to apartment in a to make a dancer step from woods technique to to him from lo location and transport similarly single stride. In the absence of any absolute orientation. mean I and of time also the creation space. can be related but can Separate and distant places not only move a continuity continuous of be made identity and of by a a one as in this shot when ment. and an informal social encounter and of dimension ritual. finds instead that ing the long voyage of search action which was the dynamic itself has usurped the universe once the prerogative of human will. places. identity 165 This content downloaded from 14. to movement movement from the the the of purpose phasis then assumes the solem itself. ality might be widely at different times and even in different places performing ap the same gesture or movement. and actions which One can film different people separated. I have done in my re If. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .210 on Mon. a shot of one person is terminated a A swing-pan?whereby by a or and another shot of person rapid swing away place begins with a rapid swing of the camera. figure and the frame of the one cent film The Very Eye of Night. by a judicious proximately as to preserve in such a manner the conti joining of the shots action the itself dominant of the the becomes movement. places. person begins gesture setting. em in so by shifting doing it confers dance upon nondancers. and persons. a on over and the white moving revolving figures totally black in movement is as grav which their ground. the two shots being subse in the blurred area of both swings?brings into quently joined in actu dramatic proximity people. and. it has been the technique by which instead of is the and undertak reversed protagonist.139. upon figures large in a film is conveyed by the that changing relationship between as screen. eliminates the horizon line and any background which would of the reveal the movement total field. itself became cation so that the world of the the dynamic Land. expressions.

force between unifying our activates which basis of the the knowl recognition reality ( the geography of location edges and values and without which trans could not exist).139. in terms of its own form for expressing. be understood de They preceded as diverse as bound but coincidence. movement. which. It is almost as if the new age. exploit nuity. paradoxically intangible 186 This content downloaded from 14. had undertaken even to the motion-picture medium. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . which energy. medium because photographic of separateness and of conti and of extension. A radio is not a louder voice. It is a for example. change reflected in every field of human endeavor. degree the various its of the photographic attributes (which es image: fidelity tablishes the identity of the person who serves as a transcendant its all separate times and places). fearful that whatever was there to arrive com already would not be adequate. of the same period of and the motion (an invention picture as a faster painting or a more should not be thought of history) real play. and in particular of classifications. by which recom a determination can arrive it at is. a new way of a new way of life?one in pects of thought and an of time.are but indications of the variety of creative a mean can be which time-space relationships accomplished by It is an of the sequence of film images. in which structure the notion of mass-upon-mass architecture. in their effort to force film into or the are one or another of the performing plastic arts. pletely re to deal in movement structured and time-space expressly most be art would the and propitious appropriate lationships. All of these forms are qualitatively different from those which as unrelated must not them. to the harassed librarians. and its authority which and dislocation and intangibility of the image and en cends the impersonality and objective dows it with independent consequence). has given way to the lean strength of steel and the dynamics of cantilever balances. I of what eventually for all custodians mend this as the only valid point of departure to the keepers of catalogues. equipped. engaged in an endless Procrustean operation. ingful manipulation to the order of creative action available motion-picture only it is a The ideas of medium. an airplane is not a faster car.210 on Mon. who. These several The Twentieth-Century Art Form to the effort to deter I initiated this discussion by referring a as means we mine what creative film form is not. merely by velopments.244. and dynamics appreciation is more than the familiar concept of immediately meaningful as a static solid anchored matter to a stable cosmos. condensation to in it the which fullest deals.

it must the of filmic images and Instead. any more or for the of land of pleasures walking leisurely panorama seen car a or new train from window. space concept step-by-step relationship which was the of materialism of the nineteenth part primitive century. is the most laggard in recogniz and visionary statements?who that the formal and of his age are concepts ing philosophical in structure the actual of his instrument and the tech implicit niques of his medium? If cinema is to take its place beside the others as a full-fledged cease merely art form. It must determine the disciplines in the medium. plots. Art.244. and to it each age should make its proper contribution. are make them irrelevant. Culture is cumulative. The truths of the Egyptians merely no less true for never to answer questions which they failing raised. all that inventions. but may however. can we How justify the fact that it is the art instrument. a form which flowered as a celebration and of time. 5 Jan 2015 07:08:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . nothing so much out of the very nature it must create a total experience of the instrument as to be inseparable from its means. This is not to say that cinema should or could replace the than flight is a substitute for the other art forms.DEREN: Cinematography The Creative Use of Reality : concepts of the citizen of reality. develop vocabulary evolve the syntax of filmic techniques which relate those. and that it is the artist ?of whom. inherent dis cover its own structural modes.139. the culture expects the most prophetic traditionally. time does not deny them. deals in ideas. the moral and metaphysical this new age. 167 This content downloaded from 14. the new realms and explore to it and so enrich our culture artistically dimensions accessible as science has done in its own province. which among fraternity of twentieth-century is still the least explored and exploited. when scapes Only things serve the same purpose better do they replace old things.210 on Mon. it must to record realities that owe existence to of their actual the film instrument. It must it the narrative has borrowed litera from disciplines relinquish ture and its timid imitation of the causal logic of narrative of the earth-bound. Instead.